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Full speech: AIB President & CEO addresses members at the 2023 IHAP Annual General Meeting

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our Annual General Membership Meeting. Sincerest thanks to all of you for taking the time to attend today’s gathering.


While this year marked our exit from the emergency brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges and impacts of the pandemic still affect us on many aspects of our life, economy, and society. This year also introduced new and brought back old and recurring challenges, including higher prices of basic and essential commodities such as food and fuel, high inflation rate, and lukewarm market.


While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is still ongoing, conflicts in the Middle East, including the fighting between Israeli and Hamas forces, have also raised global tensions and disrupted global markets and supply chains.


Just like during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, although we may not be able to overcome the challenges individually, we can nevertheless do so together. It is in this context that I address you today on behalf of the Board of Directors of IHAP.

I would like to extend my thanks to all of you for your continuing support to our Association. Your commitment and participation make all the difference. Over the years, IHAP has remained resilient and was able to overcome many challenging situations. We are convinced that we will overcome these present challenges too.

We would like to emphasize the special responsibility that an Association like ours has at this time. The underwriters play a pivotal and crucial role in keeping the capital markets robust and strong. In times like these, our purpose and values matter a lot to the people, to the companies, and to the Philippine economy that we serve.


A year has passed, and it is once again time for us to look back and see our progress as an Association. Let me give you a brief walkthrough of the activities and projects we accomplished in 2023.


On 29 March 2023, IHAP inducted its newly elected directors and officers. SEC Chairman Emilio B. Aquino was the inducting officer.


On 16 August 2023, the 7th and 8th IHAP Awards were held, in partnership with R. G. Manabat & Co. or KPMG Philippines, to recognize the excellence and the good and hard work of our members. Let us continue to be inspired by each other not only to overcome the challenges we face but also to further develop our dynamic industry. SEC Commissioner Kelvin Lester K. Lee attended as Guest of Honor of the 7th and 8th IHAP Awards.


On 15 September 2023, the 7th IHAP Cup Golf Tournament was held at the Manila Golf & Country Club. SEC Commissioner Kelvin Lester K. Lee, SSS President and CEO Rolando L. Macasaet, and GSIS President and General Manager Jose Arnulfo “Wick” A. Veloso were the Guests of Honor. IHAP will be donating a total of PhP 120,000.00 from the proceeds of the 7th IHAP Cup Golf Tournament to charities chosen by the Guests of Honor. I would like to thank again our members who sponsored and/or participated in the 7th IHAP Cup Golf Tournament.


On 19 September 2023, IHAP was an endorsing industry partner for the 5th REIT Philippines Investor Summit. Atty. Francis Ed. Lim of ACCRA Law and Mr. Hermenegildo Z. Narvaez, President and CEO of BPI Securities Corporation made brief presentations on behalf of IHAP during the said summit.


All throughout the year, IHAP also participated in various inter-organizations meetings such as the Joint General Membership Meeting among IHAP, MART, ACI, TOAP and NASBI in November 2023.


Also, IHAP’s Board met with SEC Commissioner Kelvin Lester K. Lee to discuss the issues which affect the members of IHAP, including, but not limited to, the increase in SEC fees and the current regulations that affect us in our underwriting transactions.

Lastly, IHAP also supported a number of position papers regarding important subject matters that affect the industry and society in general such as the joint position paper on the proposed amendments to the REIT Act. IHAP also sent its comments to the proposed amendments to the REIT Act.


Acknowledgements

The year would not have been as great without the participation of all of those present here. For that, I give my deepest gratitude and appreciation to all of you, who have worked hard and contributed precious time and energy all towards the goal of having a successful and meaningful organization. I understand that this might not have been easy, considering the challenges we are all facing.


I would particularly like to thank the Members of the Board of Directors and Officers of IHAP for religiously attending the meetings of the Association, supporting its various activities, and contributing their valuable time, resources, and expertise to bring IHAP to a new level. I also would like to thank the IHAP Secretariat, specifically, Mr. Ed Hipolito, IHAP’s counsels, ACCRALAW, and IHAP’s auditors, R. S. Bernaldo & Associates, for ensuring that the administrative aspect in running the Association is done smoothly.

Thank you also to all active members of IHAP. Please know that you have all contributed in one way or the other. I would like to thank all IHAP members who have trusted me with the leadership of this august organization.


Thank you for your support.


I believe that we have been a great team for these past years, and I hope we will continue to be united for the years to come.

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